The global growth slump: causes and consequences

Crawford School of Public Policy | Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis

Event details


Date & time

Wednesday 28 June 2017


Weston Theatre, Level 1, JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Dr John C Williams, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.


Rossana Bastos
6125 8108

Additional links

In this public lecture John C Williams will provide an overview of his recent paper, The Global Growth Slump: Causes and Consequences.

Economic growth has slowed across the globe. The global growth slowdown reflects fundamental changes in trends in demographics and productivity. For example, trend real GDP growth in the United States is currently 1.6 per cent, the slowest pace in memory. Similar slowdowns are seen in advanced economies across the globe. Nor are emerging market economies immune from this trend, as labour force growth slows to a trickle and the rapid gains in productivity growth associated with earlier stages of economic development are in the rear view mirror.

This slowdown has enormous consequences for economies going forward. Demographic trends imply worsening dependency ratios and government finances. Slowing real income growth and rising income inequality may undermine support for policies favoring longer-term economic growth. Finally, a slow growth global economy is associated with lower real interest rates, which creates challenges for monetary policy and financial stability. The author concludes that countries need to prepare for the challenges of slow global growth before the next economic storm hits.

John C Williams took office as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco on March 1, 2011. In this role, he serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, bringing the Fed’s Twelfth District’s perspective to monetary policy discussions in Washington DC. Dr Williams was previously the executive vice president and director of research for the San Francisco bank, which he joined in 2002. He began his career in 1994 as an economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, following the completion of his PhD in Economics at Stanford University. Prior to that, he earned a Master’s of Science from the London School of Economics, and an AB from the University of California at Berkeley.

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